Patricia Hofer

Self-focus…”a disease of modern times”

WHEN YOU SHOW THE MOON TO A CHILD, IT SEES ONLY YOUR FINGER. I like this Zambian wisdom because it so clearly makes a very difficult point. Our ability to perceive our world, its size and scope, comes with our maturity. And so we tend, at first, not to look far enough!
Hannah Whitall Smith, a lay speaker for the 19th century Holiness movement, called such self-focus and self-interest a “disease of modern times.” Then Smith continued: “Most of us have eyes that are continually turned inward. Our gaze is fixed on our interior states and feelings to such an extent that self, not Christ, has come to fill the whole picture” (The God of All Comfort 159-160). … All of this “looking at ourselves,” according to Smith, causes only “weakness and defeat” (164). Now I’m not saying that any of us are able yet to appreciate and fully see the size and scope of Christ’s promises for our continuing life. But Paul does say that we are not to “lose heart” with the limitations of what now “can be seen.” We must, instead, look past this “momentary affliction,” past self to Christ, to an abundant life that is “beyond all measure” (II Cor. 4:16-18). (Drawn from Turning Aside to See, chapter 27, ©️2011)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *